Baldwin prepares for annual Troutarama

The 58th Annual Baldwin Troutarama is approaching and with that, Baldwin is sure to double in size as festival attendees stream into the city to check out the summer staple.

“I think Troutarama brings people to Baldwin,” said Seth Wenger, vice president of the Troutarama committee. “They have a good time and then come back next year.”

The event takes place July 16 to 20 and features a packed daily schedule of events, including the popular Grand Parade, which returns this year. Other major attractions include the Troutarama Softball Tournament and the 5K, which is in its second year. While the festival serves as a draw to Baldwin, it also acts as entertainment for local residents.

“A lot of seasonal residents plan their weekend around Troutarama,” Wenger said. “The design of it was to provide an anchor weekend for local businesses, so they could count on having a lot of people in their store or restaurant that weekend.”

Something new to this year’s Troutarama is a gospel concert, set to happen at 2 p.m. on Sunday at the Wenger Pavillion. Other musical acts include jazz concerts and the Scottville Clown Band, which will perform in the parade.

Wenger said the festival features different music groups each year but other than that, organizers try to replicate the same events.

Most events are free or low cost. Major attractions include the parade and the Youth Fishing Derby, said Wenger.

This year, the 5K will occur on Saturday, July 19, at St. Ann’s Senior Center, 690 9th St. Registration is $20 per participant. Sign in begins at 7:30 a.m. and the race starts at 9 a.m the day of the race. The night before the race, a spaghetti dinner will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Friday, July 18, at St. Ann’s Senior Center.

All pre-registered participants will receive a T-shirt and gift bag.

This year’s softball tournament takes place July 18 through 20. Participating costs $165 per team and all fees are due by June 30. The game takes place at Hollister Park, 10 St. The format is double elimination.

The festival is made possible by the community's help.

“The community supports Troutarama through their attendance and by volunteering,” Wenger said. “About 100 people from the community volunteer each year.”

Wenger hopes the festival will be just as successful as it has been in previous years.

“We hope it brings around 10,000 people to town this year,” said Wenger. “That’s the number it usually attracts.”